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In all the excitement about England’s remarkable batting to save the First Test (Monty Panesar faced 35 balls, for goodness’ sake), and all the inevitable claims about the effect on the remainder of the series, it’s important to remember that the finish was only as dramatic as it was because England failed spectacularly both in taking Australian wickets and in defending their top-order wickets.

It is to be hoped, as well, that the failure of the bowlers isn’t overshadowed by today’s events (not even by the Ryanair protest which may have saved England). Australia dominated the match from lunch on Day 2, took 14 more wickets than the hosts managed, and nearly won having conceded 435 runs.

Overall, I think an Australian series victory is still pretty much nailed-on, but for now I’m clinging to Paul Collingwood‘s innings as a sign that there is at least some mental strength in the England side. That and the thought of Ricky Ponting being upset (which he probably isn’t – the Aussies will undoubtedly win at Lord’s anyway).

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